By Paul J. Weber
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Republican lieutenant governor of Texas says state leaders no longer want the Texas National Guard off the border with Mexico next month as originally planned.
Dan Patrick said Wednesday that "we can't pull back now" and signaled that new Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will call for more money to keep the guard on the border through August. Patrick says it would cost $12 million to extend the deployment through May.
Abbott's office did not immediately respond to the announcement.
The change in plans comes only weeks after former Gov. Rick Perry left office. The 1,000 guardsman that Perry deployed last summer had been expected to be completely gone by March.
The guard has been scaling back ahead of that timeline. Patrick did not say how many troops would remain.